WANT TO MAKE THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFE?
Here are 3 simple tips that will make a difference in every single cup you drink.
Espresso is coffee made by heating water to temperatures about 15 degrees below boiling, then forcing it through a compacted puck of very finely ground coffee beans at about 9 atmospheres of pressure. The reasons for the precise temperature, the compacted beans and the measurement of pressure all have to do with chemistry – the chemistry of the coffee beans and the chemical interactions between the beans and the hot water. The flavor of coffee comes from fats and proteins in the coffee beans. When the beans are mixed with hot water, those oils and proteins are released. The longer the water is in contact with the coffee, the more chemicals are washed out of them. If the water is too hot, the coffee can overcook and taste burnt. If it is too cold, the coffee can be watery and tasteless. If the water takes too long to get through the coffee, it can extract the more bitter tannins and other chemicals from the beans.
When water and coffee meet with all the variables at precisely the right measurements, the result is a cup of thick, rich, creamy brew with a complex flavor that resides as much in the foamy emulsion on top as it does in the liquid that sits beneath it.
Tamp the coffee
Put the filled coffee filter on a sturdy surface. Take your coffee tamper and place it on top of the coffee in the filter. It should fit snugly into the top of the filter. If the tamper is too small, the coffee around the edges of the filter won’t be compressed, and the water will naturally flow through the grounds there, missing most of the flavor in the center of the puck. Press straight down, applying even, firm pressure. You should aim for about 30 pounds of pressure. You can get a feel for how much pressure that is by using a bathroom scale to measure your strength. Push down, twisting slightly in one direction and lift straight up. The surface of the coffee should be smooth with no crumbs. Brush away any crumbs of coffee from around the edge of the filter and place the filter into the group handle.
Twist the group handle into the group head, making sure that it’s seated firmly.
Place a warmed espresso cup beneath the spout.
When the water reaches the right temperature, turn on the pump to force the water through the coffee. The right temperature is between 92 and 95 degrees. This is one of the areas where artistry comes into play. If your machine has an indicator light rather than a temperature gauge, turn on the pump when the indicator light goes on.
The coffee should flow out of the group head like honey rather than dripping or dribbling. The first coffee through the group head will be thick and dark. It will gradually lighten until the last of the coffee is a thick froth.
In general, it should take about 20 to 25 seconds for the water to filter through the coffee and into the cup. If it takes less or more time, you may have to adjust the grind of your coffee or the amount of pressure you use in tamping it.
A quality machine – To make sure that you’re using the correct amount of water pressure and the right temperature of water for your espresso, you need a quality machine. We reccomend the ones from the quality espresso coffee machines La Scala-Butterfly or Eroica for individual use, or any other model they offer for proffesional use.
Clean Coffee Pot
A clean pot is essential and can make a world of difference in the taste of your coffee. Old oils from previous batches of coffee and soap residue left on the pot makes coffee taste bad.
Baking soda and water work well for cleaning coffee mugs and pots. Be sure to rinse extra good so no residue is left behind.
Clean Filtered Water
The water you use for your coffee will affect the taste more than anything. Coffee is 99% water so use clean filtered or bottled water free from chlorine and other minerals that will affect the taste of your coffee.
” Softened water is perfect – By using softened water and not regular tap water, you will not only extend the life of your espresso machine, but you’ll also make sure each shot is as good as the one before.
Serve the espresso immediately before it has a chance to cool.
” Don’t let it sit – After you’ve made an espresso shot, you don’t want to let it sit for too long without going into your milk drink (unless you’re just having single or double espresso shots). The espresso can begin to lose its flavor if it sits for more than ten seconds.
” 18 to 25 seconds is the best espresso time – If a full shot glass of espresso is filled in 18 to 25 seconds, you’re going to have the best tasting shot. Anything longer and the shot might be too strong and anything too short might be too watery. When your shots are too watery, you need to grind the espresso more finely and when the shots are too thick, you need to grind the espresso into larger pieces.
Notice that a perfect shot not only will fall within the designated time range above, but will also have a perfect division of three layers. The bottom layer will be the darkest, the middle a lighter beige color, and the top layer will be the coffee cream (“Crema”).
” Crema – If you find a caramelized topping on your espresso shot, you’ve made a great shot. The thicker this crema is, the better your coffee drink flavor will be.
” Practice your shots – To make sure that each shot is perfect, you will need to practice. Once you get the hang of brewing the perfect espresso shot, it will become second nature – and you’ll be able to taste the difference as well.
Drink your fresh coffee right away for the best flavor. Coffee will break down quickly if left on a heat source. Coffee should never be reheated or microwaved.
Simply sprinkle gold flakes on (either bought with the product or bought separately) and the gold will adhere to the coffee or milk crema for perfect shiny appear.